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Monday 12 November 2018

Fierce battle of wizards brought to book at Trinity's Long Room

A still from ‘The Duel’, based on author Terry Pratchett’s fantasy ‘Discworld’
A still from ‘The Duel’, based on author Terry Pratchett’s fantasy ‘Discworld’

Emma Jane Hade

THE iconic Long Room in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) usually just hosts books and tourists.

But now it has become the backdrop of a closely fought battle between two powerful wizards – and the books are their weapons.

Renowned novelist Terry Pratchett has released a short film that he collaborated on with a group of Dublin students.

Speaking at the screening of 'The Duel' in TCD last night, Pratchett said he was "very impressed" with the finished product. "I'm amazed. "All I did was write the book," he said.

Praising the work carried out on the project, he revealed he was not apprehensive about the group taking on the world he created: "They only needed a little push in the right direction.

"I thought, 'let them do their stuff, it's not really up to me'.

"All the words I use were made up by a lot of people before I was born, so they allowed me to use them. So if you find them doing something where they are having fun, and it's looking good – that's what I think is the best thing."

Pratchett, who is battling Alzheimer's, said his love affair with Ireland began after he was awarded an honorary doctorate from TCD in 2008, and that he initially "thought they were bloody mad".

'The Duel' is set in Pratchett's fantasy world – 'Discworld' – and tells the story of two duelling wizards, with the iconic Long Room in Trinity acting as the backdrop.

The four-minute animation shows the wizards using the books on the shelves as weapons.

The film was brought to life by students from Ballyfermot College of Further Education, TCD and Giant Animation Studios.

Gareth Lee, one of the producers, said it was "fantastic" to work with the 65-year-old, who acted as an executive producer on the project.

"The 'Discworld' is a fantastic world to be able to play around with," Mr Lee said. He added that the author took his role very seriously: "He gave us a lot of creative freedom."

Mr Lee said the film would travel around the world on the festival circuit, and the team hoped it would "get some exposure and win some awards".

Irish Independent

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